Saturday, November 10, 2007

If All Else Fails

My work (in one of the facets of my, um, multifaceted existence) often requires me to send e-mail to this or that list of Usual Suspects. I believe the bizarre term for this is "burst" e-mail, which makes no sense to me: if it's gonna take me upwards of 20 minutes to get the silly thing in the air, how can it be "bursting"? But I digress.

I have noted, in undertaking the above, both a strange quirk of human nature (and if not strange, at least odd) and a glaring oversight in the version of Groupwise that my employer uses, to wit: Groupwise 6-point-whatever has no "reply to" feature; and no matter how many times I encourage my "burstees" to contact such-and-such source with questions or comments, they invariably hit the reply button and land back in my inbox.

Yes, I realize there are products and services on the market that will do burst e-mail for us, and someday we might come to that. But really, as things now stand, it would be a waste of money for us make a purchase for that sole purpose (we don't do enough, nor often enough). And it would deprive me of the perverse fun of replying to the Usual Suspect, "As indicated in the original message, you should contact X at Y for more information..."

Anyhow, wouldn't it make just as much sense for Groupwise to incorporate a reply-to feature? That would also solve the in-house problem I've encountered, viz., I forward a message to a co-worker, who then replies by, you know, hitting "reply"...which replies to me!

I've written to Novell to encourage them to add the feature to a future release; I wouldn't think it an impossibility, since the free e-mail client I use in real life, Thunderbird, has the feature and it works like a charm.

Of course, so too would reading the line in my e-mail that says If you have any questions, contact X--which usually includes a link and everything--but I once again fly in the face of human nature. Or human alliteracy.

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